Nebraska Huskers: Big Ten Should Realign Game Versus Wisconsin Badgers

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Now that the Big Ten came to its senses and will have divisions with proper names, it's time to give the Huskers a proper rival.

Jim Delany couldn't do it anymore. He couldn't look in the mirror, say "Legends will clash with leaders today!," and go about his business. It took only two years of the most poorly-named divisions in college athletics to get an overhaul thanks to expansion.

This name change already makes the addition of Maryland and Rutgers worth it.

There's now a proper Big Ten West and East (unofficially official), Purdue will face Nebraska, but there's one matter of business left for the Big Ten to attend to: Shove Iowa back on the Huskers' slate.

The college football world's supposed to believe that Nebraska going head-to-head with Iowa is an official rivalry because it's held the day after Thanksgiving and the winner gets a trophy that looks like it's full of chocolate?

The Heroes Game is the football equivalent of a TV dinner joke. Huskers and Hawkeyes trade jabs across the Missouri River that have the sting of a marshmallow.

The Big Ten seems sensible enough (after several months of mockery), and its definitely full of businessmen. In the spirit of both making money and giving fans what they actually deserve, here's a proposition.

The conference has plenty of trophy games. Nebraska and Iowa can have theirs. Call it the Heroes Game, get Bo Pelini and Kirk Ferentz to pick an assistant to trade blows for their respective team at halftime and force the loser to claim Council Bluffs as part of the state. Go nuts, but shove that dumpster fire back to the middle of the Huskers' schedule, if that.

You want a legitimate reason for waking people up to be at an 11:00 AM kickoff in November? Put something worthwhile on the line. Now that Wisconsin and Nebraska are in the same division, you know what you must do, Delany.

Put The Battle of the Big Reds on every day after Thanksgiving. It won't be Nebraska-Oklahoma, and not because of the tradition or what's at stake, but the mutual respect will be gone. The Badgers are giving the Huskers the blood feud they've never had.

Colorado and Kansas State tried to establish that. Texas came close, but the Big Red skipped town before it could truly be cemented.

Every time Nebraska and Wisconsin have met, there's been some significance. The Huskers' first Big Ten game, the second-largest comeback in Nebraska history and 70-31/Kenny Bell.

The East's division title will likely come down to Michigan-Michigan State and/or The Game. Iowa or Northwestern could threaten in the West, but the Huskers and Badgers look to be the two teams trading blows for the West's spot in the Big Ten Championship Game more often than not.

It's time to go all in. Nebraska fans' hospitality won't change and Wisconsin's students will jump around, but the shot at a conference title and the silence forced upon the loser between that day and its bowl game would be more precious than any trophy.

Sleep on it, Big Ten brass. Go forward with this and it'll be a dream come true.

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